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Oxbridge Varsity Debate

@ 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
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This House Would Cap Oxbridge Private School Admissions At 7%

93% of UK university students are state-educated, yet at Oxford and Cambridge, UK state-school admissions are 20% lower. Should action be taken to address this disparity? On the one hand, Oxbridge’s admissions process is arguably unfair; those from privately educated backgrounds with educated, well-networked parents have access to an array of preparation assistance, while many state-school students lack a single Oxbridge role model from their school. On the other hand, opponents cite risks: applicants will be encouraged to game the system, students will be defined by their schooling background, and a culture that rewards merit may be lost. Would Oxbridge’s reputation as an impartial judge of merit be put at risk? Or as engines of social mobility and pipelines to the governing class, do Oxford and Cambridge have a responsibility to encourage greater socioeconomic equality?


Professor Daniel Markovits

Professor of Law at Yale Law School. In 2019, he authored ‘The Meritocracy Trap’, in which he argues that ‘meritocracy has become the single greatest obstacle to equal opportunities in America today’.

Will Hutton

Journalist, and regular columnist for The Observer. He co-Chairs the Purposeful Company, and is President-designate of the Academy of Social Sciences. He was previously Principal of Hertford College, Oxford.


Alice Wilcock

Head of Education Policy at the Centre for Social Justice. Studied PPE at Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating in 2018.


Date: @
Time: 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Event CategoryDebates